Auburn Schine Theater

12-14 South Street,
Auburn, NY 13021

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Auburn Schine Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built by the Schine Circuit and opened on September 15, 1938 with Errol Flynn in “Four’s A Crowd”. The Auburn Schine Theater featured a unique outer space Atmospheric look in the high Art Deco style.

Today the theater is being restored and renovated by Cayuga County Arts Council. Tours available by advance appointment.

Contributed by Karen Colizzi Noonan

Recent comments (view all 76 comments)

dplomin1954 on August 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I hope that this theater gets past the obstacles and is restored soon. Am I the only one that has noticed that the difference between the vintage pics and the recent ones are the lack (or absence) of ANY traffic, be it people or cars? Was that on purpose, or does it only make Auburn seem like a ghost town?

SchineHistorian on August 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

From today’s CITIZEN –

New group tries to polish up Schine

AUBURN â€" Shirley Martinez remembers going to see movies at the Schine Theater when she was a child, and from the candy counter to the restrooms in the basement where you could weigh yourself on a scale for a penny, the details remain etched in her memory today, years after the theater closed down.

Martinez, of Auburn, and about 15 others have started a new group called Citizens for Schine and the Betterment of Downtown Auburn, Inc. that is now focusing on cleaning up the historic Schine Theater in an attempt to make it safer and possibly someday restored.

“We need to do something,” she said. “If we can do something with it for the community, it would be for the better.”

The group has its work cut out for it.

Over time, the South Street buildingâ€\s art deco facade has grown dirty and the back of the building has been vandalized and used as a repository for garbage, car tires, dead trees and a shopping cart. Martinez pointed out that not only is the building becoming unsightly, but itâ€\s also becoming dangerous.

“If there was ever a fire, it would be bad,” she said.

In addition to a fire hazard, the rubble also creates a place for unseen mischief, Martinez said.

The group incorporated in March, said chair Peter Ruzicka, of Auburn. Members started cleaning a couple weeks ago. They removed some of the garbage out from behind the theater and also gave some attention to the buildingâ€\s facade.

Martinez said the city has agreed to pick up the trash from the cleanup effort as long as itâ€\s bagged properly, while a few Vietnam War veterans have volunteered to take away some larger pieces of rubble, such as broken pallets.

“Weâ€\re trying to do it as best we can,” she said. “Itâ€\s going to take time.”

Both Martinez and Ruzicka said it will be awhile before the group can begin work inside the theater due to asbestos that is in the ceiling. Weeding, removing trash and cleaning the outside of the windows and doors will have to suffice for now.

“We want to start outside and move in,” Martinez said.

Daniel Waters said working outside and being visible raises awareness, shows that someone is devoting time to the Schine and may interest community members in joining the cause.

Martinez said the new group hopes to work alongside the Cayuga County Arts Council, which owns the Schine, to restore the once-magnificent theater, built in 1938.

“Both of our groups want to work together,” she said. “We want to be a force with a force.”

The Citizens for Schine have just been accepted as members of the arts council, Martinez added.

Ruzicka said he heard from the arts council that, should the theaterâ€\s rehabilitation go well, the Schine may become a multi-use facility with 1,000 seats.

“Itâ€\s the biggest part of the contemporary history of Auburn,” he said.

Staff writer Kelly Voll can be reached at 282-2239 or Follow her on Twitter at CitizenVoll

pruzicka on August 27, 2010 at 9:13 pm

The group in the above pasted article was formed in response to an ad published in the local paper. The response to the ad was all in favor to restore the Schine’s and the group was formed out of those that cared enough to try and work to preserve this theater. I have incorporated this group in March of this year, and the Citizens for the Schine’s and Betterment of Downtown Auburn Inc. was officially formed. We have been trying to work with the Arts Council, who recently reorganized, but request to meet and discuss the project were meet with silence. We then decided that we would join the Arts Council to work with them internally and most of us now are members of the Arts Council. One of our members finally got a meeting with the new Arts Council President, Jim Loperfido, who finally allowed us to at least clean-up the trash, debris, and start to defoliation of the overgrowth. This recent article demonstrates our group’s commitment to the restoration of the Schine’s and our willingness to help.

pruzicka on August 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I forgot to add that this group I have assembled has a wide demographic we range in age from mid-twenties to eighties, and from retirees to professionals the joining thread is the desire to preserve this magnificent theater and masterpiece of architecture.
I must add there is a lot of local support we put my antique car in two parades and our message was “Let’s Finish the Schine’s”! We had many people cheer when we passed by and many comments in favor of this project! I truly feel that this is a very important part of the contemporary history of Auburn. This is what forms the major character of any region is its history and treasures….

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm


SchineHistorian on March 5, 2011 at 5:34 am

Stunning, isn’t it?! And it can be again… if all entities could just work together.

Please remember that this postcard is available from the Save Our Schine organization as a FUND RAISER. Please don’t download and/or copy for distribution. Copies can be purchased by contacting

SchineHistorian on March 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm

My sincere apologies — NO implication was intended Don!

I simply meant that if anyone who reads this would like to support the Schine restoration and purchase postcards for themselves they can contact that email address, which is for one of the Save Our Schine team members. Now that i re-read my post i realize it was not specific that it invited anyone who wants a copy to contact SOS. Since there is no mechanism to edit posts, please allow this to stand as a correction and clarification.

When i said “all entities work together” I meant the long-standing internal struggle in the City of Auburn that has stymied this project for close to 2 decades now. Thank you so much for showcasing this excellent photo of the Schine’s heyday – people would not recognize it today from this stunning photo. It needs much love and MUCH care.

This is one of my all time favorite theaters and i would love more than anything in the world to see it reopened and in all its glory once again. I appreciate your taking the opportunity to share it with the Cinema Treasures audience. – Karen

aubcinjim51 on October 24, 2011 at 2:18 am

Stop by our website for details on the Auburn Schine Theater at

SchineHistorian on September 9, 2012 at 2:38 am

NOTICE! SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2012 1:00 – 3:00 Join together with concerned citizens and friends of the Auburn Schine Theater to celebrate her 74th birthday and rally to press the theater’s owners to move quickly, publicly and purposefully to protect this National Treasure! As one of Eberson’s only remaining Art Deco style theaters, this important structure deserves fiscally responsible, personally dedicated, honestly transparent and forward thinking leadership. If you believe this theater is truly endangered at this point, please join your voices on Sept 15. (Besides, there will be cake!)

SchineHistorian on August 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Just because someone loves it, doesn’t mean it will live forever. Let this be a cautionary tale for the Auburn Schine theater… time is NOT on your side!

Bucyrus Community Theatre too far gone to be saved (June 5, 2013)

BUCYRUS OH — Mayor Roger Moore informed Bucyrus City Council on Tuesday night that a downtown treasure soon will be torn down.

The board of directors met with city officials and have made the decision to terminate renovations of the Bucyrus Community Theatre.

“It is with deep regret that I must inform council and the citizens of this. It has come time to end the project,” Moore said.

Moore said the decision was based on many factors, most notably the severe deterioration of the structure and the lack of funding for the project.

Resident Joe Armbruster has spearheaded the renovation efforts the past 12 years.

“I must commend Joe and others. I know how he feels bad about not being able to complete it,” Moore said.

He added he hopes funding can be secured to demolish the building at 300 S. Sandusky Ave. “very soon.”

“A lot of people put their life and soul into the project. The building is just too far gone at this point,” Moore said.

One hurdle to funding the restoration was the exclusion of the building from the Bucyrus Historical District. Because it sits one block south of that district, the State of Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission would not release funding.

“I give Joe and the board five stars for being able to know when the time was right to make the final call on the curtain and end their efforts in restoring this building,” Moore said.


See link for photo:

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